Built in less than two years, the facility was completed in half the time required for conventional biomanufacturing plants thanks mostly to its use of single-use bioreactors, disposable plastic containers, continuous purification processing and real-time quality analysis.
The launch of the new biomanufacturing facility comes on the heels of the company announcing nine biosimilar project that could combine to drive $3bn in revenue. Amgen’s first biosimilar is expected to launch in 2017, followed by four more in 2019.
The company estimates that the new biomanufacturing capabilities will result in an estimated cost reduction of 60% or more per gram of protein.
In addition to the launch, the company also announced it will continue building more at the Tuas, Singapore site and will soon break ground on another facility where it will make carfilzomib, the active ingredient for the anti-cancer drug Kyprolis.
Amgen chairman and CEO Robert Bradway previously said the facility is on track to produce commercial products beginning in 2017. Bradway added: "Singapore is an ideal place to invest in such a pioneering facility because of its talented workforce and commitment to the biotechnology industry."
And Amgen isn’t the only company moving some manufacturing ops to Singapore. In February, AbbVie announced it would invest $320m in a production facility that will support the development of ADCs (antibody drug conjugates). Novartis also announced a new $500m cell-culture based manufacturing facility, while Pfizer, Lonza, Roche and Baxter all have commercial manufacturing facilities in Singapore, as well.
But Amgen’s facility is expected to use less energy and water and have lower solid waste and emission levels than a conventional facility, the company says.